Delta College, MEDC’s Talent Action Team announce major $500,000-plus expansion in move to become national leaders in semiconductor education and training programs

Partners include Hemlock Semiconductor, SK Siltron CSS, CMU, MSU, SVSU and Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! with anticipated launch in December 2023 of state-of-the-art learning and high-paying, high-tech career opportunities for students and workers across the Great Lakes Bay Region

Leaders with Delta College and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) Talent Action Team were joined today by state legislators and executives with Hemlock Semiconductor and SK Siltron CSS to announce the kickoff of Delta’s more than $500,000 state-of-the-art training programs that respond to Michigan’s increased demand for skilled technicians and engineering professionals in the semiconductor industry.

Michigan’s semiconductor workforce ranks among the top 10 in the nation, with job growth of at least 11% projected in the next five years.

“Delta College’s goal is to be one of the leading educational institutions in America in semiconductor programming,” Delta College President Michael Gavin said during a news conference in the school’s cutting-edge chemical processing laboratory this morning.

“Our focus is to provide accessible and industry-relevant training to equip Delta College students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in these high-demand, high-paying sectors,” he said. “This new opportunity will be adapted by Delta to build a world-class talent pipeline to meet the semiconductor industry’s needs.”

Gavin was joined in the news conference by MEDC Talent Solutions Director Christopher Rishko; state Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet, D-Bay City; state Rep. Amos O’Neal, D-Saginaw; state Rep. Bill G. Schuette, R-Midland; Hemlock Semiconductor Chairman and CEO AB Ghosh; and SK Group Director of State and Local Government Relations and Community Engagement Keida Ackerman.

“Today’s announcement by Delta College makes me proud to be a Michigander, and even more proud to represent our Great Lakes Bay Region,” said McDonald Rivet.

“Michigan is among the first states in the nation with a consortium that has successfully identified the key skills and competencies employers need to drive future microchip industry development,” she said. “I’m delighted Delta College is going to build upon that foundation of achievement.”

Historically, Delta College has designed academic programs that provide a comprehensive pathway for students and apprentices who wish to pursue a career. The college provides opportunities for a career credential, one-year certificate, associate degree and transfer pathways to four-year institutions.

Currently, Delta College offers an associate degree in mechatronics technology, chemical process technology and mechanical engineering technology.

Now, Delta College is investing more than $530,000 in its semiconductor curriculum expansion, including $292,000 enabled by MEDC’s Semiconductor Higher Education Grant Initiative. In addition, Delta has submitted a Congressionally Directed Spending Request that is currently funded in the U.S. Senate at $284,000, with a decision expected by federal lawmakers in October.

“The MEDC is thrilled to support Delta College’s innovative semiconductor curriculum expansion plan,” Rishko said. “Delta’s announcement today is a major step forward in helping build on our state’s push to onshore critical supply chains of semiconductors back to Michigan, creating good-paying jobs and reducing supply chain delays and shortages.”

As part of the semiconductor curriculum expansion, Delta College will begin offering a pre-engineering path to align with partner institutions Central Michigan UniversityMichigan State University and Saginaw Valley State University.

This will allow student participants to have access to well-defined and easily expandable paths that will prepare them for jobs in the semiconductor field. These paths include training, industry certification, career credentials, a one-year certificate, associate degree and transfer opportunities.

The target audience includes existing students in relevant degree pathways, adult learners seeking to change careers, current workers in need of semiconductor skills, underserved populations and high school students.

“Delta College’s expansion of its education and training programs exemplifies why Michigan should be the home of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States,” said O’Neal.

“Delta will build custom pathways for apprenticeship opportunities within the region and promote job readiness and foundational technical skills to underserved urban populations,” O’Neal added. “That’s especially critical to the constituents I serve to ensure all Michiganders have access to career opportunities in the semiconductor industry.”

Workforce and employer partners in the Delta College expanded semiconductor curriculum rollout include Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!Hemlock Semiconductor and SK Siltron CSS.

“This truly is a unique and powerful partnership with state government, private industry and academia all rowing in the same direction to drive Michigan forward in this vital segment of our state and national economy,” Ghosh said.

“This is both an important moment and a critical opportunity for Michigan. We have this unique chance — right now — to plant the flag and declare ourselves the home to high-tech industries of the new economy,” Ghosh added. “To be successful, we need a long-term vision and commitment to building vital industries here at home over the next 30 to 40 years. And that is exactly what we are doing.”